Icelandic freezer trawlers bring in first mackerel –

Icelandic freezer trawlers bring in first mackerel Published:  01 July, 2013

Icelandic fisheries company HB Grandi’s freezer trawlers Örfirisey RE and Therney RE docked in Reykjavík last week with catches that were landed straight into the new Ísbjörninn cold store at the company’s Nordurgardur site.

Örfirisey’s catch was equivalent to 480 tonnes of live weight while Therney had a slight edge with 500 tonnes. Half of the catches was groundfish and the other half mackerel and herring.

Steindór Sverrisson, in charge of managing the company’s freezer trawler operations, said that this year’s mackerel quota for the freezer fleet came to 4,800 tonnes and that the best equipped vessels, Örfirisey and Therney were best placed to catch the quota.

“Therney started on mackerel early the previous week and Örfirisey followed two days later. They started in the Skerja Deeps and then shifted across to the Háfa Deeps and the Grindavík Deeps. To start with the mackerel were small, but there were bigger and better fish to be had further east,’ he said, commenting that some Icelandic summer-spawning herring was also caught with the mackerel.

Therney caught 250 tonnes of mackerel and 35 tonnes of herring, while Örfirisey had 183 tonnes of mackerel and 31 tonnes of herring. In addition, they also both landed groundfish that had been caught before switching to mackerel. Both herring and mackerel are whole frozen on board the trawlers.

According to Steindór Sverrisson, each trawler had around 19,000 cartons of mixed fish on board, making a total of 39,700 cartons that were landed and sorted at the Ísbjörninn cold store over only two days.

“We couldn’t have done that before, and we’re seeing more and more just how much of a difference the new cold store with its sorting facilities makes to HB Grandi,” Steindór Sverrisson said.